Crop protection

"Watch for Botrytis blight"

Overcast, wet weather can increase Botrytis risk in greenhouse crops. Botrytis blight or “gray mold” is a damaging disease to floriculture and edible crops, particularly during the winter months. The pathogen thrives in low light, moist, and humid conditions. It is best controlled by managing the greenhouse environment, keeping…

Plant sightings: Highlights of greenhouse scouting

One aspect of Brian Whipker's job as a Floriculture Extension Specialist is visiting growers. "It is always wonderful to get out of the university ivory tower and see what is occurring in greenhouses. I do not do this as much as I desire or should. On these trips there are always amazing discoveries.…

UK: Researchers rally against Xylella fastidiosa

A major research programme focussing on building UK resilience to the bacterial plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, met for the first time this week. Dr Gerard Clover took up the post as Impact and Engagement Manager based at the John Innes Centre for the BRIGIT consortium. Dr Clover will be responsible for working across the multiple…

February 26, Kenilworth

UK: Improving the performance of biopesticides in the production of ornamental crops

Join the AHDB and a range of other crop protection specialists at the Ornamentals Conference focusing on the use of biopesticides in the production of ornamental crops. The one-day event will provide insight into biopesticides and the AMBER project (Application and Management of Biopesticides for Efficacy and Reliability).…

New biostimulant solutions for floral crops

There is a huge boom in the cultivation of ornamentals worldwide, with annual increases in production that normally exceed the forecasts. The Valentine's Day and Mother's Day seasons account for 25% of the total annual export volume; one quarter of the total exported by entrepreneurs in the sector in countries like Colombia,…

Australia: Putting a price on pest management

Looking at the ‘return on investment’ for production nurseries that implement a structured and effective pest management and monitoring program is the key focus of a new levy funded project. Known as ‘Improving Pest Management’ (NY17009) the project is funded by Hort Innovation using nursery industry levies and funds…

SePRO secures private equity investment

Bill Culpepper, President & CEO of SePRO Corporation announced that Excellere Partners, a private equity firm focused on partnering with entrepreneurs and management…

UK: Plant health inspection facilities at place of first arrival if there's no Brexit deal

A recently updated guide from the UK Government details how facilities for plant health controlled commodities imported into England and Wales from non-EU countries via roll on roll off terminals can get designation if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. The guide explains: how to request approval for your site to operate as a Place…

The Usual Suspects: spring pests

With spring crops comes some familiar spring pests. The following notes may help avoid being shocked by unwelcome infestations later on. by Dan Gilrein - dog1@cornell.edu Broad mite This very tiny pest causes big damage, such as odd stunting, bronzing and distortion of new growth, often surprising growers who report it appearing “suddenly.” It can indeed be…

Vegetal-derived biostimulant enhances adventitious rooting in cuttings

Plant-derived protein biostimulants exhibit hormone-like activities promoting plant growth and yield, yet detailed investigations on hormonal function have remained limited. A…

UK: Maintaining successful control of downy mildew in protected crops of cut flower column stocks

A new AHDB factsheet explores Downey Mildew in protected crops of cut flower column stocks. Column stocks are currently the main non-bulb, protected cut flower crop grown in the UK. The factsheet comprises of: Disease development and symptoms Sensitivity testing  Disease control strategies Crop management Crop nutrition  Further information on the National Cut Flower Centre project and trials work You can…

Biocontrol Profile: Mighty Mites, Part II

Several predatory mite species are available as biological control agents (BCAs) for common greenhouse pests. Some of the more common species are described below. Neoseiulus cucumeris Formerly Amblyseius cucumeris, this generalist predator will eat thrips 1st instar nymphs, whitefly, aphids, and psyllids. They also…

Australia’s most threatening plant disease targeted

Australia will be better prepared for plant disease outbreaks with the appointment of a national coordinator to lead a three-year program to improve readiness for the potential incursion of the devastating Xylella fastidiosa. Experienced biosecurity and emergency response coordinator, Craig Elliott, has been appointed…

Australia: A free electronic pest identification tool

Quick identification of plant pests, diseases, disorders, weeds and beneficials is vital to maintaining a profitable production nursery operating under an effective crop protection program. Over the years several variations of reference books and field guides have been used to identify plant pests and…

Australia: Brown marmorated stink bug found in Port Melbourne

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has been detected in Port Melbourne. The bug was found in an Agriculture Victoria trap which was put out as a precaution after Victoria’s first BMSB detection in Clayton in December. Victoria’s Chief Plant Health Officer, Dr Rosa Crnov, said Agriculture Victoria had increased surveillance and trapping…

Australia: New minor use permit

Cormoran Insecticide, containing the active ingredients acetamiprid and novaluron (PER86931), is now able for use on NURSERY STOCK (NON-FOOD) seedlings, tubes & plugs, potted colour, trees and…

US (GA): Beneficial insects can prove useful for greenhouse crops

While the use of beneficial insects and other biocontrols for agricultural pest management hasn’t gained widespread usage in open field production, some Georgia farmers are using natural control methods in greenhouse and high-tunnel production. “The makeup of our farms and the perceptions of our farmers determine what…

Powdery mildew on roses

Powdery mildew is one of the most prevalent and common diseases of roses caused by the fungus sphaerotheca pannosa var.rosae, This results in the production of white powdery fungal growth over the…

Putting biosecurity at the heart of the horticultural trade

The new Plant Healthy website provides a self-assessment tool for horticulture businesses and organisations to improve the biosecurity of sourcing systems and advance plant…

Australia: Biosecurity advice - Brown marmorated stink bug

The NGIA published an updated biosecurity alert for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BSMB) which has been detected recently in QLD, WA and VIC. BSMB is a significant exotic plant pest which is yet to establish in Australia. The 2017-18 season saw an increase in BMSB detections, and this trend has continued. The increase…

Kenya: Scorecard measures nutrient pollution in Lake Naivasha

Economic activity in and around Lake Naivasha, and the rapidly growing population, have placed mounting environmental pressure on this important source of freshwater in central southern Kenya. The lake provides an income for local fisherfolk, supports a vast array of flora and fauna, including waterbuck, hippos and…

Agrobacterium in roses

Agrobacteria tumefaciens is a rod shaped motile bacteria that lives in the soil. It has flagella that allows the bacteria to swim through moisture films in soils and plants. It causes ugly cankers called crown galls which causes reduced production and eventually death of the plant. The Bacteria transfers part of its DNA to the…

US (MI): "Monitor crops for early signs of infestations"

Snowfall throughout December was sparse (to say the least) in southwest Michigan. According to Michigan State University’s Kalamazoo Enviroweather station , the average daily high temperature in the Kalamazoo area was 39 degrees Fahrenheit with an accumulation of 91 degree-days above 32 F from Dec. 1–31,…

First report of Nerine latent virus in Haemanthus albiflos in the UK

Haemanthus albiflos is a flowering plant native to South Africa and Namibia. A member of the family Amaryllidaceae, it is an evergreen bulbous perennial with unusual flowers that give it the common name of paintbrush. Tolerance for indirect sunlight and neglect has made this a popular houseplant in…

Weed management in the greenhouse

Insect and disease management in the greenhouse is often made more challenging when weeds are a problem under greenhouse benches. Weeds can serve as reservoir for INSV and will provide the perfect habitat for thrips and other pests. by Tom Ford - tgf2@psu.edu Each year brings with it new challenges and opportunities for the greenhouse industry…

US: Chilling injury on cuttings

The last several days have been very cold. When temperatures at night are in the single digits and daytime temperatures are in the mid-twenties, cuttings may arrive very cold or frozen, which can result in freezing or chilling injury to the plants. Some plant species such as Ipomea (sweet potato vine), Coleus, Lantana, Portulaca and Crossandra…

The problem with a picture: Pythium in propagation

As the old adage goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” For most things this is true. Even in plant problem identification, utilizing digital images to aid in diagnosis is becoming standard. I remember the days when growers called and talked about what plant problem they were seeing, which usually…

"Greenhouse growers want to get rid of Fusarium"

Fusarium causes a lot of headache for greenhouse growers. The fungus ensures that crops such as lettuce, tomato or phalaenopsis become ill or even die. Fusarium can be controlled with plant protection products, but the number of authorized products is shrinking. Time to act! Wageningen University &…

UK: RHS confirms first new garden pest of 2019

The RHS has identified its first new garden pest of 2019 – the unsightly cotton stringy scale (Takahashia Japonica). Found on a magnolia in Berkshire thought to have been imported into the…

Australia - Dandenong South: Brown marmorated stink bug found

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has been detected in a Dandenong South warehouse. The bug is an exotic nuisance pest that feeds on more than 300 types of vegetable…

Gowan creates new business unit dedicated to biologicals

Gowan Company announced the creation of a new business unit dedicated to biological development and innovation. As part of this initiative, Gowan has purchased the remaining…

Australia: Home gardeners urged to look out for pest plant

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is urging home gardeners to hand in a prohibited plant mistakenly sold in Western Australia over summer. Callisia repens, commonly known as creeping edge plant, is present in other States but is prohibited in Western Australia due to its potential environmental impact.…

Canada: Serifel registered for greenhouse ornamentals

Flowers Canada Growers announces that Serifel (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain MBI 600) is registered for greenhouse ornamental uses. Serifel is effective, when applied…

US: MGK launches Azera Pro into nursery & greenhouse market

Adding to its organic botanical portfolio of solutions for insect control, MGK has launched Azera Pro to the greenhouse, nursery, and landscaping industry. Azera Pro is OMRI listed and meets USDA’s NOP requirements and complements other products already being used in the nursery and greenhouse industry…

UN resolution proclaims 2020 the International Year of Plant Health

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) welcomes the UN’s proclamation that 2020 will be the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The proclamation was made by the UN General Assembly on 20th December 2018 in Rome. The International Year of Plant Health will help raise awareness, among the public and policy…

Canada: Altus approved for greenhouse ornamental uses

Flowers Canada Growers announced the recent registration of Altus Insecticide (flupyradifurone) for greenhouse and outdoor ornamental uses. Altus can be used against Aphids and Whiteflies as a foliar spray and Aphids, Whiteflies and Leafhoppers as a drench application. FCG would like to thank Bayer Environmental Science for…

US (CA): Is habitat restoration killing plants in wildlands?

In 2014, plant biologists with the California Department of Agriculture reported an alarming discovery: native wildflowers and herbs, grown in nurseries and then planted in ecological restoration sites around California, were infected with Phytophthora tentaculata, a deadly exotic plant pathogen that…

Ireland: Ag minister calls for greater Forestry and Plant Health vigilance

Andrew Doyle TD, the Irish Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Forestry and Horticulture, has welcomed the UN…

Biobest and Australian company Bugs for Bugs team up through equity deal

Biobest Group NV and Bugs for Bugs Pty Ltd announced the finalization of an equity transaction whereby Biobest Group NV acquires a stake in Bugs For Bugs Pty Ltd. Bugs for…

UK: Grant to develop biological control of Black Vine Weevil and Western Flower Thrip

Bionema, a biotech Swansea University-based company, has received a grant award from Innovate UK to further develop technology that could help combat pests which cost the worldwide economy billions every year. Western Flower Thrips infected with entomopathogenic fungi, Beauveria bassiana BNL 103 The £765,000 grant was awarded under…

Biosecurity New Zealand and DOC warn of myrtle rust risk this summer

Biosecurity New Zealand (part of the Ministry for Primary Industries) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) are encouraging the public to check their local myrtle plants this summer to help track the spread of the fungal disease myrtle rust. Myrtle rust is likely to be more active during warmer weather and is…

US (FL): Palm Beach stops short of banning ficus that attracts whitefly

Palm Beach is poised to restrict the planting of Ficus benjamina, which is a favorite food of the dreaded whitefly. But the Town Council last week stopped short of supporting a total ban. Existing hedges would not be affected by the ordinance, which is expected to go before the council for final approval on Jan. 8. The town…

UK: New research to help secure rosy future

Noted for their colour and scent, roses are one of the most important ornamental flowering plants grown worldwide, with a yearly estimated production of 18 billion cut stems and up to 80 million potted roses. In spite of the plant’s popularity and industry importance, rose viruses have not been studied in detail…

Deadly rose virus likely to come to UK

A deadly rose virus which wipes out entire flower populations and is impossible to get rid of is likely to come to Britain, the RHS has warned after sponsoring a study into the disease. Scientists sponsored by the Royal Horticultural Society will sequence the genetic code of flowers impacted by the virus in a…

US: Boxwood blight found in Michigan

Boxwood blight has been detected for the first time in Michigan. The disease was found in Oakland County in three separate locations: a landscape firm, a homeowner’s yard and in holiday wreaths being sold at a retail store. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) was also…

UK: Consortium prepares for possible introduction and spread of Xylella fastidiosa

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Right Honourable Lord Henley, has announced funding for a major bacterial plant diseases research programme supported by UK Research and Innovation’s Strategic Priorities Fund. The first phase of this investment initiates a UK-wide consortium to prepare for the possible introduction…

BellaRosa shares 16 years of rainfall data

Ecuador: November rain hits Tabacundo

Between October and November 2018, botrytis problems occurred in almost 10% of the Ecuadorian rose exports. But what was the reason for this problem? According to Gonzalo Luzuriaga of BellaRosa and RoseConnection, it was probably due to the significant increase in rainfall in November compared to 2017…

Following Swirski, Spical sachet also gets upgrade

With the release of Swirski Ulti-Mite, Koppert placed an update of the predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii on the market. The company is now doing the same for Neoseiulus…

UK: Spruce Bark Beetle found in Kent woodland

Woodland managers, land owners, the forest industry and tree nurseries that supply mature conifer specimens are being urged to remain vigilant after the Forestry Commission…

UK-wide consortium to combat xylella

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Right Honourable Lord Henley, announced funding for a major bacterial plant diseases research programme supported by UK Research and Innovation’s Strategic Priorities Fund. The first phase of this investment initiates a UK-wide consortium to prepare for the…

Critters down under: Root aphids

Most growers have experienced aphid outbreaks in their crops. Often, they are found on the young, new growth of many types of plants.  However, there are also aphids that grow and feed from the root system of several plant species and are classified as root aphids. These aphids are not the same as those that feed from the upper parts…

Plantago asiatica mosaic virus detected in Lilium in the UK

In April 2018, a sample of Oriental hybrid lily (Lilium spp.) with distinctive symptoms was submitted to Fera Science Ltd. for diagnosis from a nursery in southern England by the Plant Health and Seed Inspectorate (PHSI). From the rusty-coloured, necrotic streaking on the leaves it was initially…

"Our customers recognize the high quality of our roses"

‘Thanks to the use of biological crop protection, the flowers are bigger, the stems are thicker, and we produce more flowers per square metre. We are now producing roses of exceptional quality that our customers can enjoy for a long time.’ Marek Dzida, one of the most prominent rose growers in Poland, is…

US: Novel IRAC mode of action for bioinsecticide

The Insect Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) has approved a novel “nerve and muscular” mode-of-action code for Vestaron's SPEAR bioinsecticide. “As of today, there are only thirteen nerve…

Infected Italian flowers destroyed near Moscow

Insects, considered a quarantine object in the Russian Federation (flower thrips) have been found at the phytosanitary control post in Krasnoznamensk not far from Moscow. The…

Australia: Simulation exercise to strengthen response to Xylella Fastidiosa

A simulation exercise to investigate and improve Australia’s preparedness to respond to a possible detection of Xylella Fastidiosa was conducted by Plant Health Australia in Brisbane recently. Xylella is an invasive bacterial plant pathogen and is one of the world’s most feared pests. Although it is not present in…

Crop Defender Academy

Greenhouse growers put IPM under the microscope

For many years Crop Defenders has been empowering greenhouse growers through education and training in eco-friendly biological pest control methods. Crop Defender Academy was founded in 2018 to further its non-commercial and unbiased educative role, and launched its first program—IPM Mastery—a 5-day intensive, interactive and practical training…

"Nutrimite scores high marks in the Netherlands"

In June 2018, Biobest Nederland performed an online survey of 141 Nutrimite users from the Netherlands. Biobest introduced Nutrimite, a food supplement based on Typha pollen, onto the market in 2013. The product stimulates the population development and improves the distribution of predatory mites…


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